Importing might sound great, interesting and profitable. And it definitely is, but when the time comes to import, it is necessary to know the basics. This is a very simple guide for those interested in this trading transaction.
1. BE AWARE OF YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AS AN IMPORTER
Although there are many parts involved in the import process, the importer is responsible for every single transaction that needs to be done and for importing in the “correct way”. No one is closer to the experience of the importer regarding the nature of the imported merchandise.
2. KNOW THE TERMS AND PARTS INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS
This is not just about bringing something into a country and making profits out of it. It is necessary to learn new vocabulary and specific roles that might be of great value when importing: CBP, bill of lading, quay, commodities, shipping agent, dumping, licensed customs broker, among others. Don’t let these terms make you crazy; get familiar with them prior to importing.
3. MAKE SURE THAT YOU COMPLY WITH ALL THE CBP REQUIREMENTS AND LAW REGULATIONS
It is a must to get familiar with the US Customs and Border Protection policies and to know their procedures before importing. Remember that the CBP is the country’s primary border control organization.
4. CHOOSE YOUR SUPPLIER WELL
Importers need to have a deep knowledge of their supplier. This will add clarity to the process and transparency about the origin of the product to be imported. Asking for representative samples makes part of this tip. You might have to invest money in these samples, but this will allow you to have tangible knowledge of the merchandise and the commitment of the company and to go over risks with the samples, and not with the actual import eventually.
5. CHECK IF YOU NEED LICENSES AND IF THERE ARE ANY RESTRICTIONS FOR YOUR IMPORT
Some products require licenses to be imported. You can even find that there are some restrictions for certain commodities. This is not an obstacle, but just part of the process. If you are aware of it, things can be easily handled on time.
6. HAVE YOUR MERCHANDISE CLASSIFIED AND THE RATE OF DUTY ESTABLISHED
The right classification of the merchandise to be imported will also serve to determine the rate of duty, which is very important for you as an importer. A written ruling about this can be requested from CBP. There are Independent Freight Forwarder companies such as IZZI Logistics that can facilitate this and most of the steps of the import process; they are the experts, let them work for you.
7. DETERMINE THE PORT OF ENTRY
This will facilitate the arrival of goods and their entry and will allow you to contact the right people or entity to track your commodities.
8. GET A THOROUGH DESCRIPTION OF THE MERCHANDISE
This is another important key to avoid possible inconveniences. Describing the merchandise implies a clear understanding of its country of origin, its composition, intended use, pricing, and everything related to intellectual property rights.
9. KNOW THE INCOTERMS
The incoterms are the International Commercial Terms. They are universal and represent the most useful way of communication between the parties involved in the import process. The incoterms are aimed at reducing the risk of misinterpretation by any of the parties. They define the terms of the responsibilities and obligations related to point of delivery, costs, formalities and documents, insurances to liabilities and risks, logistics, methods and conditions of transport, reception and meeting the established standards.
10. HIRE A CUSTOMS BROKER AND/OR A FREIGHT FORWARDER COMPANY TO GUIDE YOU
Even if you know about imports, it is advisable to do all the process through a freight forwarder company and with the assistance of a customs broker. It is not necessary to make a contract with a world-wide well-recognized company. Independent freight forwarding companies are a great option.
Now that you know these rules, it’s time to make a decision and import. Remember to hire a good company to work for you in this process. IZZI logistics, for instance, is an excellent independent company that has been in the market for more than 10 years now and provides all the services that importers might need. What are you waiting for? Get into the trading business.